Chinatown Peace Church (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
The Vancouver Chinese Mennonite Church began its first services in 1977 and formally organized on 4 June 1978 with 41 founding members. The congregation originated through outreach by Mountainview Mennonite Church, as well as the conferences. The congregation joined Mennonite Church British Columbia and Mennonite Church Canada in 1979.
Stephen Lee was the founding pastor of the church, and served the congregation until 2001. Pastor Ng served for one year, and from 2002 until 2007 the congregation was without a Chinese senior pastor. The current pastor, Lup Chee Ngai, joined the church in 2007.
Initially this congregation used the facilities of Mountainview Mennonite Church for their services. In 1978, the church purchased a former YMCA building in Chinatown through the financial assistance of the conference and individual church members. Starting from 24 September 1978 all church activities were relocated to these new premises at 375 East Pender Street in Chinatown. In 1984, the old YMCA building was demolished and a new church building was constructed. In 1995, the church extended the original building to provide spaces for a Seniors Home. The extended wing was built on the area of the church's parking lot.
The church conducts two major outreach activities each year. In the spring the congregation puts on a drama performance specifically for members of the community. For the past two years the event has been quite successful, with many people attending. In December of each year they put on a Christmas musical performance, again to attract the local community.
The group is also active in providing monthly services (first Saturday of the month) to two nearby Senior’s residences, including singing, stories, dancing, and Bible readings. As part of this service they also play games with the residents.
Starting in 1979, many Mennonite churches sponsored Chinese speaking boat people from Vietnam, who joined this church. These new immigrants and following generations now make up the majority of the existing congregation members. The congregation began holding two worship services on Sunday around 1995, with a 9:30 am service in English, and an 11:00 am service in Cantonese.
The Cantonese service, pastored by Lup Chee Ngai, is traditional, using hymns and a choir. Attendance is mainly in the senior age group. Their emphasis has been on outreach the past several years.
The English service is more contemporary and more casual in style and with singing accompanied by guitar, bass, drums and piano. Primarily professionals and younger families with children and youth attend this service. Billy Chiew has been serving as English pastor for the past 12 years. This group has focused more on small groups, youth and leadership development.
In 2011 the total attendance was around 120, plus 25 children and youth.
In January 2018 the congregation changed its name to Chinatown Peace Church in order to be more inclusive of its neighborhood.
Churches in Profile. Clearbrook, BC: Conference of Mennonites in British Columbia, 1978: 35-37.
Dueckman, Amy. "A Neighbour to All Who Come: Three Urban Mennonite Churches Reach Out to their Local Communities." Canadian Mennonite (21 March 2018).
Lehn, Cornelia. Frontier Challenge: A Story of the Conference of Mennonites in British Columbia. Clearbrook, BC: The Conference of Mennonites in British Columbia, 1990: 131-132.
Mennonite Reporter (31 October 1977): 13; (16 October 1978): 1; (25 June 1984): 13; (4 March 1985): 16; (20 September 1993): B4; (16 May 1994): 11; (25 December 1995): 1.
Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives, Winnipeg, MB: Volume 1956.
Address: 375 East Pender Street, Vancouver, BC V6A 1V1
Mennonite Church British Columbia (1978-present)
General Conference Mennonite Church (1978-1999)
Chinatown Peace Church Leading Ministers
|Lup Chee Ngai||2007-2014|
Chinatown Peace Church Membership
|Date Published||November 2018|
Cite This Article
Harms, Kelly. "Chinatown Peace Church (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. November 2018. Web. 23 Jan 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Chinatown_Peace_Church_(Vancouver,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=169205.
Harms, Kelly. (November 2018). Chinatown Peace Church (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 January 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Chinatown_Peace_Church_(Vancouver,_British_Columbia,_Canada)&oldid=169205.
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